Q&A with Dell's Cary Gumbert

We met with Dell executive Cary Gumbert to find out what the company is doing in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market.

What are the benefits of this approach?

It allows [customers] from a managed services perspective to think we are outsourcing those managed services.

They are using the tool but not having to manage the tool. That takes it a step beyond just the hardware [to] systems management where it doesn't have to have those armies of people running around trying to keep everything running. It is one less thing to worry about.

So we have combined this and that produces a bunch of different offerings. The real reason is to simplify the IT management of an organisation using a technology based approach rather than a managed services approach.

So what solutions are you offering and how do they differ from your competitors?

We are focused primarily on the infrastructure management, the infrastructure around the hardware and software that runs it. But, [by] going to a SaaS-based model we are able to more effectively remotely manage parts.

Think of it as if you wanted someone to manage your PCs. You could do that by deploying software in there and having someone sit on site or setting up network connections or you can do cloud-based, which is what we have done, which is different.

There are not a lot of competitors out there with the cloud provision. The industry is very mature with on-premises, there are lots of capabilities out there and lots of features to do on-premise type management. We offer those as well but this is where a lot of the investment is going, into the cloud.

So I can set the policy once, say patches for software antivirus or any of those components, and it will apply to my entire customer base, not one at a time.

Then I can look at reports. I am not going into each individual server but I can pull that once from our entire customer base and then give a customer access to the same application - obviously they will only see their data, but I can see anybody's. It also works on channel partners.

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